Concern over delay in construction at JM Nkomo Polytechnic

By Sifiso Mpofu
GOVERNMENT has expressed concern over the delay in completing projects at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic College in Gwanda, despite the release of 6.5 million dollars by the treasury for the completion of a home economics block at the institution.
This came out when the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Monitoring Implementation of Government programmes, Dr Joram Gumbo toured the institution this Thursday.
Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic is one of the biggest tertiary institutions in the country, churning out an average of 1 200 graduates ever year from the teacher and technical education division.
This feat is, however, achieved under difficult circumstances owing to the critical shortage of learning space.
Dr Gumbo who visited the college to assess progress on the construction of a home economics block following a 6.5 million disbursement by treasury between 2019 and 2020, said contracts of companies that fail to deliver should be terminated without hesitation.
“It must never be the case that the developmental interests of the people are compromised because those mandated to implement government programmes have not adopted a serious approach or have a completely abdicated their responsibilities. I want to assure you that my report to Cabinet will capture in explicit terms the poor state of project implementation at this institution,” he said.

The institution‘s principal, Dr Ngoni Moyo said the college was forced to suspend enrolment last September as they could not accommodate more students.
“The truth of the matter is that the contractor has failed. We have a major crisis in terms of learning space here so much that last year we had to suspend enrolment because we could not accommodate a further 600 students,” he highlighted.
Other buildings that are partially complete are the girls’ hostel and lecture theatre.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Provincial Development Coordinator, Ms Sithandiwe Ncube, the Minister of State for Matabeleland South, Abednico Ncube said it is critical to ensure the completion of such major projects for the benefit of people in the region.
“Last week we were at the court building and the same contractor who is failing to deliver there is the same contractor working on this project. At the end of the day what is important for us is for these projects to be completed for the good of the people in our province,” he said.

Construction of the home economics block started in 2004 and resumed on the 21st March last year.
According to the ministry of local government and public works, the contractor, Mutual Construction has failed to execute his role as there is no adequate labour and equipment on-site as well as a programme of works in place.